If You Are Looking For Funny, Move Along
March 9, 2006
Yesterday I got a phone call from a long lost friend of the family. His mother had talked to my mother on the phone and was very concerned about her behavior. She seemed overly emotional crying about nothing and talking about her wedding next wedding. Which is all well and good except that she is already married.
She was crying to them and everyone else that she called that she needed me, she needed to talk to me, that if I would just call her she would be okay again. They thought she might have had a stroke. Though oddly enough going to the doctor or emergency room never entered anyone’s mind.
I haven’t spoken to my mother in seven years.
There are so many reasons, but it comes down to the fact that she is mentally ill and mean. And while I have moved on from all the things she inflicted upon me growing up, I am an adult now and there is no reason for me to allow her to have that hold over my emotional well being.
Even though I really didn’t want to, I called her last night. I had been told all day long she was waiting for my call and was so frail and sad. I couldn’t not call. The thought of doing that seemed cruel. Perhaps she had changed in the past few years.
I picked up the phone and dialed the phone number, the same number I have had for my entire childhood.
“Hi, It’s Christine.”
“Christine… your daughter.”
“You are not my daughter. If you were my daughter you would be here. I only have one daughter. That is (name of step sister) and she is getting everything when I die. I want that to be clear. My daughter Christine is dead.”
Then she hung up.
If I were smart I would have left it there. But somehow when parents are involved I think we all resort to playing the role of child. And as much as I steeled myself against getting hurt by her words, they still cut. A good reminder of how powerful and lasting the words of a parent can be, not one I will soon forget. Physical abuse heals, emotional abuse stays raw a lifetime. My husband often says that I am so thin skinned and my feelings get hurt way too easily. I think it is because there isn’t much left intact on the inside. I’m just a raw bloody mess, things that other people would just brush off hurt me terribly.
My step sister, who was at the house, called me back. A party to the craziness. For two hours I listened to my mother. Listened to her instructing people to repeat her words verbatim. Things like “You are a jealous brat who ruined my life.” “You will get nothing when I die.” “You are dead to me.” Alternating with her pleading for me to bring the grandbabies over for her wedding. A wedding that is going to be held at her house and will feature peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, as well a legal document for me to sign saying that I get nothing when she dies. How’s that for a party favor? A wedding AND a disinheritance party, multi tasking craziness at it’s finest.
I know I should feel more empathy. But when I found out she brought this dementia on herself by suddenly stopping all her medications, it was difficult to muster. It was the same old Ann, manipulating those around her, playing the role of victim, being abusive to me once again while people look on.
I want to tell her that I don’t want any of her material possessions when she dies. A piece of jewelry or furniture does not make up for a lifetime. It’s too late. Everything I wanted from her in the past she was unable, or unwilling, to give. And yet, at the same time, I find I can’t say anything. I listen and take it all, acting like the ungrateful bitch I have been painted to be. And my saying that she needed to be brought to the emergency room and admitted to a psych ward did nothing to endear anyone to me.
Today I will be looking at my own children anew. Silently promising them that I will never inflict this sort of crap onto them. Every ounce of love I have to give, I will, with no strings attached. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I say things I regret. But as an adult I take ownership of those things. As an adult I can apologize for any hurt I ever cause my children.
I am drained.
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